“There were no charts, no maps. We were flying by the seat of our pants into this thing”: Robert Plant reveals the best thing about being in Led Zeppelin

“It was a time to be proud of our music.”

Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin

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Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant has opened up about the band’s thrilling road to stardom and the best part of his personal journey as its frontman.

Reflecting on Led Zep’s early days, the singer tells AXS TV’s Dan Rather that much of the magic had to do with the way they were operating in uncharted waters.

“Maybe the best of it is that our time initially, when the whole thing was opening up, there were no charts, there were no maps, there was no structure, there was no conditioning,” Plant says. “We were flying by the seat of our pants into this thing.”

“There were many people around us, especially from the Bay Area of San Francisco — there were fantastic bands, musical units but there was no etiquette developed yet. The last thing we were was a good bet to have on a talk show or anything like that. It was a time to be proud of our music.”

“There were no rules. Things were being developed”, the musician remarks, adding that it was a journey “nobody could plot”.

“It was just ‘what do we do now? Oh maybe we’ll play somewhere bigger.’ I mean it was just like kids going from playing in the youth club behind the church to play in small clubs. The acceleration into another place was… crazy.”

That said, being part of one of the world’s biggest rock bands wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Plant recounts a harrowing incident where he lost his voice before a stadium show in Melbourne, saying: “I remember waking up and we’d sold out some huge stadium. The stage was on wheels so that if we had 10,000 people that was fine, but if it was 12 they could wheel the stage back with a tractor pulling it.”

“As the day went on more and more people arrived and I couldn’t speak. And I went to a doctor and he hit me with some adrenaline and stuff like that. I turned several shades of different colours and slid down the wall, covered in perspiration and sang the gig.”

“Now that’s the last thing a singer needs to do,” he says. “The damage that you can do.”

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